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Tennis teams prepare for postseason

The Thomas Jefferson boys tennis team defeated Fairfax, 9-0, on Wednesday to extend its record to 12-0 with two matches remaining in the regular season. The Colonials will be tested against Langley on Friday before concluding with a matchup against Stone Bridge on Monday.

Langley — the Liberty District’s second-place team at 9-2 heading into Thursday’s match against Stone Bridge — will close its season against South Lakes on Monday.

Friday’s contest between Jefferson and Langley will be a rematch of the April 1 battle that saw the Colonials roll to an 8-1 victory. Despite the steady stream of success this year, Jefferson won’t take the defending region champions lightly the second time around.

“We want to start building our momentum now,” Jefferson coach John Myers said. “We’ve been cruising, and we need to get refocused and step it up just a little bit heading into the regional tournament because if you make a mistake there you’re done.”

In addition to the arrival of two dynamic freshmen — Mark Prettyman and Nikhil Ramachandran — Jefferson has been boosted this season by the return of its No. 1 player, senior Chris Vrabel. Vrabel took his junior year off to focus on academics and tennis tournaments, but he’s returned this year to help reinvigorate a tradition that saw the Colonials capture regional titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“He’s come back this year with a vengeance, and he’s just really playing well and is really focused,” Myers said. “He’s really helped our team a lot, and the guys really appreciate him coming back.”

Vrabel — a Cornell commit — has yet to be beaten this spring. He handed a 10-4 defeat to Langley No. 1 Brandon Lee when they met on April 1, Lee’s only loss of the season so far.

Coming off a 9-0 win against Marshall that marked their fifth straight victory, Lee and company carry plenty of confidence heading into Friday’s match.

“I’m happy with our team and how we’ve performed,” Langley assistant coach Rubin Tian said. “Everyone’s playing great tennis up to this point. TJ is definitely going to be a tough competition for us, but I feel like we’re going to go in and give it our best shot.”

If Langley takes care of Stone Bridge and South Lakes but falls to Jefferson, it will likely fall into a tie for second place in the district with McLean (9-3), which closes its season with matches against Madison and Marshall. A playoff team match would then be played between the two sides to determine the second and third Liberty District seeding for the Northern Region tournament, which begins May 13.

Lake Braddock’s boys team, meanwhile, lost its first match of the season on Monday, 6-3, against West Potomac. Michael Ruomthong edged the Bruins’ No. 1 Alex Nesterovich, 11-9, to help defeat a Lake Braddock (10-1) side missing a few starters.

Washington-Lee (13-1) is once again on top of the National District with only a Monday match against Wakefield left on its regular season slate.

The Oakton boys team continued its undefeated ways last Thursday with its second win against longtime nemesis Robinson, this time beating the Rams 6-3. Oakton (11-0) beat Centreville 9-0 Tuesday and finished the season with a match against Westfield on Thursday.

Oakton’s girls team is in the exact same position, as they will tried to get to 12-0 with a win against Westfield Thursday. The defending state champion Langley girls side is 12-0 going into Friday’s match against Jefferson (10-1).

Freeman commits to Louisville

Paul VI Catholic basketball standout Ariana Freeman committed to Louisville on Wednesday afternoon. The 5-foot-11 junior — who de-committed from West Virginia last month — selected the Cardinals over Kentucky, Penn State and Tennessee.

Freeman is coming off a stellar season that saw her lead Paul VI (29-4) in scoring and rebounding on her way to being selected as the only non-senior on the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first team.

Louisville — a No. 5 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament — knocked off top-ranked Baylor on its way to a loss against Connecticut in the championship game.

Paul VI baseball edges DeMatha, O’Connell

The Paul VI baseball team used a seventh inning rally to squeak by arch rival DeMatha last Saturday, 8-7. Senior Jack Maestri scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Mitchell Freeborne. Joe Salzano pitched six innings for the Panthers, striking out four.

The defending WCAC champions (16-7) followed that win with more heroics on Tuesday, downing O’Connell 2-1 in an eighth inning thriller that saw senior Braedon Lawson flirt with a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings.

Langley lacrosse falters

The Langley varsity boys lacrosse team lost to Stone Bridge, 11-9, on Monday, marking its first Liberty District defeat since April 2009.

Stone Bridge junior goalie Brian Failor tallied a team-record 23 saves in the victory against the four-time defending state champions, while senior Dylan Maltz recorded a game-high seven goals.

Langley (7-5, 3-1) will face Jefferson on Friday night in its second-to-last game of the season, while Stone Bridge (9-1, 5-0) will meet Madison on Monday.

Best Youth Hoops seeks players

Best Youth Hoops is accepting players for upcoming training sessions and summer camps. Training sessions are scheduled for May 4, 11, 18; June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 13, 20, 27; August 3, 10, 17, 14. A summer camp runs from June 24-27. The camp is for boys and girls ages 6-14. It will take place at Providence Presbyterian Church at 9019 Little River Turnpike.

Best Youth Hoops is a training organization geared toward advanced players aiming to take their game to the next level.

Contact Director of Basketball Training Keith Smith at 703-691-8318 for details or visit http://www.bestyouthhoops.com.